On a night when Hamline honored its three-time champion Men's Cross Country team, the men basketballers showed some championship grit of their own. The Pipers erased a 11-point first half deficit with some old-fashioned defense and kept it up in the second half en route to a 68-62 victory over Carleton Wednesday night at Hutton Arena. In the process, HU (9-8 in the MIAC, 11-11 overall) remain in sixth place -- the last playoff spot -- but moved within a half-game of fifth place St. John's, which lost at Bethel.
Mike Campbell had 19 points and nine rebounds nd Noah Aguirre added 14 points and seven boards but a tough defense led to 21 Knight turnovers -- many at key moments in the game.
Hamline trailed 22-11 with 8:42 left in the first half when the turnaround began. Tyler Pannell hit his first of four three-pointers on the night. Campbell came up with a pair of steals that were converted into five points. There were four other CC turnovers. In a span of five minutes, the lead was gone. HU went on to hold a 35-34 edge at halftime.
The Pipers quickly turned offensive in the second half, upping the lead to six points. The Knights stayed close the rest of the way but never did tie the game again. Carleton ended up 1-12 from three-point range, a tribute to the Pipers' good defense.
Hamline plays its final regular season home Saturday against fast-charging Bethel. The Royals (8-8) are a half game behind Hamline in the standings.